If you were injured in a car crash in California, hopefully you took the following steps immediately afterward. Of course, there are the insurance companies to deal with, too, and the process that comes with filing a personal injury claim.
The preliminary steps after a car crash
First of all, the parties involved in a crash should determine if anyone was injured. If anyone was, they must call an ambulance. If not, they should nevertheless call 911 to have police write up a report and ensure that everyone is cooperative. In the meantime, the drivers can move their vehicles if they pose an obstacle to traffic.
Next, the drivers should exchange information. Names and insurance information are all that’s needed. The two parties should limit their interactions with one another and avoid admitting guilt or blaming the other.
Documenting the crash is another important step. Drivers should photograph the damage and write down what happened. If there are eyewitnesses, it’s important to take down their contact info and obtain the police officer’s name and report number, too.
The insurance claims process
A driver can have property damage covered by the other driver’s property damage liability coverage. The other driver may also have bodily injury liability coverage to pay for medical expenses. In some cases, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage would pay out coverage.
If a person decides to file a personal injury claim, they will need to understand how the state’s negligence laws work. California accepts the rule of pure comparative negligence, which means that a person can technically file a claim even if they are 99% at fault. Naturally, any degree of fault is going to make it harder to seek out a settlement.
A lawyer for the victims of negligence
Perhaps the driver who caused your car accident was drunk, drowsy or inattentive. Whatever the form of negligence, you might have a strong case on your hands. You may leave everything to your lawyer, especially the settlement negotiations. If the other side refuses to pay out a reasonable amount, you may consider litigation.